The Dialogue's Leadership

H. E. Francis Kaikai

Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Sierra Leone, co-Chair of the International Dialogue, and Chair of the g7+ group of fragile states.

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Dr. Francis Mustapha Kaikai is the newly appointed Minister of Planning and Economic Development of Sierra Leone with many years of service at both the national and international levels. As Minister of planning and Economic Development of Sierra Leone, He assumes the Chair of the g7+ Group of Fragile and Conflict Affected states and Co-Chair of the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding.

Dr. Francis Mustapha Kaikai, until his recent appointment, was Sierra Leone’s Permanent Representative (PR) to the United Nations in New York. Prior to his appointment as the PR of Sierra Leone to the UN, Dr. Kaikai spent 12 years as a senior United Nations staff member. From January 2016 to March 2018, he was Chief of Civil Affairs/Peace Consolidation Services in the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), supporting the country’s integrity in natural resources management and economic governance, decentralization of services, local governance and peacebuilding. He was Field Crisis Adviser/Field Operation Manager in the United Nations Mission for Emergency Ebola Response (UNMEER) from December 2014 to June 2015. From March 2008 to July 2014, he was Chief of Civil Affairs in UNMIL, having served as Chief of the United Nations Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Section of UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) from 2005 to 2007. Preceding his United Nations career, Dr. Kaikai coordinated the preparation of Sierra Leone’s first Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper and set up the Development Assistance Coordination Office in post war Sierra Leone. He served as Executive Secretary of the National Committee for Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration from 1999 to 2004.

Dr. Kaikai holds a B.A. (Hons) degree from the University of Sierra Leone, and Master of Science and doctorate degrees in agricultural economics and development from universities in the United Kingdom and Germany, respectively. Dr. Kaikai is a recipient of the Grand Commander of the Order of the Rokel (GCOR) Award for Service to Sierra Leone.

H.E. Maryam Monsef

Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality, co-Chair of the International Dialogue.

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Maryam Monsef is the Minister of International Develoment and Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Co-Chair of the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding. Minister Monsef is widely recognized as one of Peterborough’s most influential people and represented her city in 2013 at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.

A passionate volunteer, she has sat on the boards and committees of several high-profile organizations. She was the Vice-President of the YWCA of Peterborough Haliburton Board of Directors, and a former director of the Ontario Public Interest Research Group and of the New Canadians Centre—a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting immigrants, refugees, and other newcomers in the Peterborough and Northumberland regions. Minister Monsef is the co-founder of the Red Pashmina Campaign, a grassroots initiative she started while at Trent University, which to date has successfully raised over $150,000 to help support women in Afghanistan.

Minister Monsef has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Trent University and speaks English, Farsi, and Dari.